2007-04-20 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

History repeats itself if we forget the past. We have all heard that expression, but how many of us actually pay attention to its message?

We can speak of it on many levels- a national level, a family level or a personal level, for example. Spiritually speaking, the idea is that we are given a lesson. If we ignore it or refuse to learn the lesson, we will face new situations in our lives that will pull on us in the same fashion but perhaps with more intensity so that we can learn the wisdom from the situation.

There are always new lessons and new opportunities, but what's to be learned from the situations often are the same. If a nation is dealing with a bully and choosing use of force or appeasement, it doesn't make much difference if the lesson was in a different century, millennium or month since the lesson is basically the same one. A person may be a victim or a bully at different times, but what the experience has provided as growth for the individual person is what is important.

Sometimes when we feel we have learned something through life experiences, we get new variations on the same theme. Perhaps we're seeing the situation as an outsider, or realize we can learn it more deeply. For example, some people are good givers, but are poor receivers. They don't like to be dependent or even receive compliments. The situations may involve dependency, trust, and partnership among many other possibilities. The idea is to pay attention so that we don't need to learn the hard way.

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